Matthew Maury Smith
February 19, 2023
More Diamonds in the Rough
So, this SBD is a nice improvement over the tinny and also sort of muddy sounding boards that plague many 95 show recordings.
Now, i am not in denial that there arent some pretty shocking Jerry moment scattered throughout the year. And im sure when first hearing that last phase of Jerrys career and how his myriad of problems, it was a real shock to hear for almost everyone, and I'm sure anybody at that time would just assume the worst from pretty much every show from this period. But then I noticed from some of the many dismissive and dramatic negative comments that I have read on message boards and on these archive review entries, it dawned on me that a huge majority of so-called deadheads have subscribed to the view that there's absolutely no point in listening to any shows from these last two years and that entire catalogs of Grateful Dead music with Jerry are so poor that they are not even worth listening to. This could not be further from the truth, and for so many to Subscribe to and promote that notion is a real shame, and something that only disagree with, but I feel compelled to expose those people and educate those people with the reality of these shows. It turns out after listening to every single 1995 show, just about, on more than one occasion, I have found that those moments were Jerry just absolutely can I get it together are actually pretty rare and are few and far between compared to the moments where he's playing not only to the best of his current abilities, but even heroically manages to Rally himself to play just like the Jerry that melted faces on a consistent basis just a couple years prior. The 1st way to do this is to find the shows that have the good stuff, review them, and point people into their direction.
There's a lot of great stuff in the spring tour, and these pyramid shows seem to really bring the best out of the band and the crowd. Unfortunately, there are some unacceptable recordings for some of the nights. This source, however, seems to be an upgrade to the only soundboard, and this second set is definitely worth listening to. If it had a more heavy hitter song list with song sequences that conjured more energy, it would be even more have a great show. But honestly, the playing on this set is definitely on point all the way through and Jerry's carpal tunnel or opiate malaise is far far away from these performances. There are some other 95 shows I have found and reviewed that have truly unique musical moments or lots of impromptu spontaneous jams, and this show doesn't really have so much in the way of unique moments, but it is just a very well played and unique set and it is worth listening to. I give it five stars for the recording and four and a half stars for the playing, so that's five stars